Review: Honda Civic Hybrid (2006 – 2011)

Rating:

Congestion charge exempt if registered before January 2011, cheap car tax.

Rolls a lot in corners, no longer congestion charge exempt after 2011.

Recently Added To This Review

28 March 2017

R/2017/017: Airbag may fail to deploy correctly: Abnormal deployment pressure may lead to rupture of the passenger's air bag inflator case. In the event of an inflator rupture, metal fragments could... Read more

11 May 2011

DO NOT JUMP START. Hybrids should be trickled charged, not jump started (bulletin from Toyota how to do it correctly). If a recovery agent connects jump leads directly to either hybrid battery and than... Read more

1 August 2007

High-spec, Sat Nav-equipped Civic Hybrid EX available to order from late August 2007. EX also features leather upholstery and Honda’s Hands Free Telephone (HFT) equipment, which uses Bluetooth technology... Read more

Honda Civic Hybrid (2006 – 2011): At A Glance

The UK market Honda Civic IMA was always a bit of an oddball. An Integrated Motor Assisted 1.3 engine, 5-speed manual transmission and a four-door saloon body.

The new one, now called Honda Civic Hybrid, has a Jazz 1,339cc engine modified with self closing valves. And, taking a leaf from Toyota's Prius book, a CVT rather than a manual transmission.

Honda Civic Hybrid 2006 Road Test

What does a Honda Civic Hybrid (2006 – 2011) cost?

List Price from £19,300
Buy new from £16,400
Contract hire from £191.38 per month

Honda Civic Hybrid (2006 – 2011): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4545 mm
Width 1750–2012 mm
Height 1430 mm
Wheelbase 2700–2702 mm

Full specifications

The seating and driving position are very comfortable, though. With about the best, most convenient parking brake I have encountered on any car recently. It's perfectly positioned and angled on the driver's side of the central console and a pleasure to use. I like the steering wheel too. It's leather bound, quite small, slightly octagonal, with easy to use radio and cruise control buttons set into the spokes.

Whereas the Thai market Civic 1.8 saloon has fold-down rear seats so luggage can poke through from the boot, there's no such thing on the Hybrid because the space over the back wheels is occupied by the batteries. So it's a lot less versatile than the Prius hatchback. That said, it is a proper five seater with a completely flat rear floor.

Child seats that fit a Honda Civic Hybrid (2006 – 2011)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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What's the Honda Civic Hybrid (2006 – 2011) like to drive?

Like the old car, leather seats are the only option. Unlilke the old car, and like the UK built Civic 5-door, you get a superb line-of-sight digital speedometer and a rev counter seen through the steering wheel.

The idea is that on start-up and acceleration the petrol engine operates in low-speed valve timing mode with electric motor assist. During low-speed cruising the engine valves close and the car runs on electric motor alone. During gentle acceleration and high-speed cruising the petrol engine operating in low-speed valve timing mode powers the car. During hard acceleration the petrol engine operates in high-speed valve timing mode with motor assist. During deceleration, for example descending a hill with foot off the accelerator, the petrol engine's valves are closed and the electric motor becomes a regenerator, recovering the maximum amount of energy and storing it in the battery. And if you stop in traffic the engine shuts down altogether, starting again as soon as you touch the accelerator.

With a CVT transmission and electric motor assisting the petrol engine, that rev counter performs some peculiar tricks. On hard acceleration it flicks round to 6,000rpm and stays there while the car gathers speed. Alternatively, it will cruise at 30mph per 1,000rpm, and more than 30mph per 1,000rpm descending a long hill, foot off the beans, where you can be travelling at 95mph, at 100mpg and recharging the electric motor's batteries at the same time.

With more conventional controls than a Prius II, the Honda Hybrid seems to be more sporty, and will pick up speed with some alacrity. But the illusion disintegrates on twisty, hilly country roads when a sort of inertia sets in to the way the car handles. It just isn't sprightly.

And progress is certainly far from jerk-free. In the badly signposted, speed camera-festooned traffic nightmare that is Northamptonshire (try following the A43 from Towcester to Corby**) it was roly-poly rounding roundabouts and almost impossible to start smoothly from the umpteen thousand sets of traffic lights. Part of the problem here seems to be the flywheel effect of the electric motor requiring more braking than you would otherwise need. As Andrew English pointed out in his Telegraph test, you are never quite sure how much braking you are going to need with the result that a minor braking drama can quite suddenly turn into a crisis. Then when you are stopped in Drive, the motor shuts down, so you are forced to apply the parking brake or footbrake to stop the car rolling back on a hill.

Fuel economy was good, though not brilliant. Over 281 miles we averaged 42.7mpg. So it looks like the main benefit of the car will be avoiding city centre congestion charges. Or, if you want to put it in more environmental context, avoiding emitting harmful NOX that is the big disadvantage of a diesel engine.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 IMA 61 mpg 12.1 s 109 g/km

Real MPG average for a Honda Civic Hybrid (2006 – 2011)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

77%

Real MPG

35–58 mpg

MPGs submitted

70

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Honda Civic Hybrid (2006 – 2011)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Selling two cars for one

I have two cars which I need to trim down to one, I have a Honda Civic Hybrid, 2008, petrol auto, with cream leather, absolutely immaculate and has done 43,121 mls and a Nissan Qashqai 2.0 Acenta, petrol auto, 2012, also immaculate, which has done almost 17,000 mls, The Qashqai is really too big for my needs and the Honda won't take my ladders, which I need for work occasionally, (I'm a signwriter). I have found a Toyota GT86 which, amazingly, takes my ladders. It is an auto and has 23,000 on the clock, the main dealer wants £16,499 for it. Is this a fair price and could you tell me what I could reasonably expect for my two please, as part exchange or private sale? Thank you so much.
The GT86 is pure sportscar, thrives on revs, bogs down at low revs because has very little torque. Never got to drive the auto, Price is okay. You can price your two existing cars here: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/used-prices/ Don't p/x two for one or you'll lose a bundle. May make more sense to sell one or both to http://www.webuyanycar.com/
Answered by Honest John
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